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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

Benji creator Joe Camp: Moral movies, personal cost (12/26/04)

Gloria Gaither: A Gaither family Christmas(12/19/04)

Allyson Feliz: Olympic medalist  shares passion for following Christ (12/12/04)

Dan Dean: Walking by faith (11/28/04)

J. Don George: Every church can touch the poor (11/21/04)

Brock Gill: Jesus is no illusion (11/14/04)

Ted Dekker: Good, evil and the battle for souls (10/31/04)

Bob Kilpatrick: CCM: Growing and changing (10/17/04)

Eugene H. Peterson: Man with a message (10/10/04)

Caz McCaslin: Fixing kids sports (9/26/04)

Jerry B. Jenkins: A novel approach to evangelism (9/19/04)

Natalie Grant: Living the dream (9/12/04)

Sharon Ellard: A life-changing education (8/29/04)

Steven Curtis Chapman: All things new (8/22/04)

Jim Ryun: Running to Jesus (8/15/04)

George Barna: Today’s church: By the numbers (8/8/04)

Randy Singer: Made to count (7/25/04)

Holly McClure: Morality and the media (7/18/04)

Don Miller and Richard Flory:Taking the Church to today's culture (7/11/04)

Cecil Richardson: Pastoring the Air Force’s 'Pastors' (6/27/04)

Barry Meguiar: Driven by faith (6/20/04)

Thomas E. Trask: Concerned for America (6/13/04)

Dr. David Yonggi Cho: The work of the Holy Spirit (5/30/04)

Tom Greene: High school: A great mission field (5/16/04)

Jennifer Rothschild: Walk by faith, not by sight (5/9/04)

Chaplain Alex Taylor: Forgiveness and restoration (4/25/04)

Joshua Harris: Not even a hint (4/18/04)

Nicky Cruz: Changing America (4/11/04)

Jason Schmidt: Lessons learned on life’s field (3/28/04)

Scott Temple: One church, many colors (3/21/04)

Michael W. Smith: Called to worship (3/14/04)

Representative Jo Ann Davis: Christians in politics (2/29/04)

Darlene Zschech: Sing, shout … just shout the praise the Lord (2/22/04)

Surgeon James W Long: For your heart’s sake, get fit (2/15/04)

Jerry R. Kirk: Battling pornography (2/8/04)

Dr Michael Ferris: A choice to heal (1/18/04)

Chaplain Al Worthley: Outside the four walls of the church (1/11/04)

2003 Conversations

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations


Living the dream

As a freshman at Northwest College, Natalie Grant thought she wanted to be a schoolteacher. She tabled her passion for music ministry, content — she thought — to limit her musical gifts to sharing with her local church. What she learned at Northwest, an Assemblies of God college in Kirkland, Wash., was how to find God’s true calling for her life. She auditioned for the traveling music group Truth, which launched her career in contemporary Christian music. Today the 32-year-old singer/songwriter is living her dream. Nominated for multiple Dove awards, including female vocalist of the year, the Seattle native has found her niche in Nashville. She spoke recently with Assistant Editor Ashli O’Connell about her Assemblies of God heritage and the effect that an A/G college education has had on her life.

PE: Why did you choose to attend Northwest College?

GRANT: I grew up in an Assemblies of God church, and the Northwest choir came to sing at my church every year. I knew it was an environment where I would be surrounded by Christian students and receive a quality education.

PE: Tell me about your experience there.

GRANT: I’ll never forget it. I made lifelong friendships at Northwest, but the thing I remember best is that’s where I received my call from God to do music ministry full-time.

PE: Your husband went to Evangel University. Both of you have had the experience of an Assemblies of God college education. What impact has that had on you?

GRANT: Even though both of us were raised in church, we realized in college how little we actually knew about our faith. Being able to enroll in Old Testament and New Testament survey classes and apologetics and similar courses gives you such a firm foundation not only for your faith but also for your life. Whatever career you’re going to go into, an Assemblies of God school gives you that strong spiritual foundation.

I think that’s a key thing for students considering going to an Assemblies of God college or university. These are schools where you can receive a quality education for whatever it is you want to do with your life. Plus you get an incredible spiritual foundation to build your life on. I think it’s important to know that this isn’t just where you go if you want to be a pastor, but this is a place where you can go if you want to be a teacher or a nurse or a businessman. You can get an incredible, quality education.

PE: What advice do you have for young people about pursuing their dreams?

GRANT: I think that I am a prime example of somebody who really is living her dream. I used to hold my hairbrush and sing to my stuffed animals, and now it’s turned into a real microphone and real people. But I never thought I could do it. Honestly, that’s why I decided to be a schoolteacher. I was too afraid of failure. And there’s no faith in that. It really wasn’t until I got to Northwest and came to the place where I really felt like God had called me that I put my faith into action.

What’s really important is allowing God to illuminate your path. I’ve had so many challenges in my career, so many tests. My first two record companies went out of business. I lost my deal. There were challenges. It wasn’t something that just happened overnight. But in those moments I had to lean back on, “Is this what I am really called to do?” And as I sought the Lord, He illuminated my path so that I could walk on the path that He has designed for me.

PE: Tell me a little about your recent album, Worship with Natalie Grant and Friends.

GRANT: When I got the chance to be involved with producing this album, I thought, What is it I wish I had more of? We have tons of worship CDs that cater to the guitar-driven, acoustic-driven style of music. But really there’s not a whole lot out there for that urban church or multicultural church. I didn’t want to do just another worship CD. I wanted to do something different that was a style of music I loved my whole life. I got to pick songs I liked singing and do them the way I always wished I could hear them.

PE: Is there something in your background that drew you to that multicultural approach?

GRANT: For some reason, when I was growing up and all my little girlfriends were listening to Amy Grant, I was listening to CeCe Winans and Andraé Crouch. That was just always the kind of music that I loved. I grew up listening to Motown. Nobody can figure it out — because I grew up in the birthplace of grunge, but I missed that whole scene and fell in love with black gospel music.

PE: Tell me about your involvement with Redeem the Vote.

GRANT: It’s basically the Christian music industry’s answer to Rock the Vote, which is what MTV does. We’re not telling young people to vote one way or the other, but we’re saying that, as an American and as a Christian, you have to stand up and be heard. It’s an incredible privilege that we cannot take for granted because we have men and women who are losing their lives every day in another country in order to give those people that same right.

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